There are a lot of actors and forces outside marketing that affect the translation industry. These factors affect the agency’s ability to maintain good relationships with its buyers and suppliers. Buyers constitute the organizations that want to penetrate foreign markets, hence are in need of professional document translators that can assist them to translate their content for the target audience. Whereas, suppliers are the human translators or any other business translation services. Nonetheless, language firms have to conduct a market environmental analysis in order to conceptualize the Micro and Macro environments. Because, these environments affect their performance in the long run and may cost a lot of money, time, and resources.

Some people may claim that these factors are outside the organization’s control. This is in fact true, but the solution is to adapt the translation business according to the external conditions and mold your strategy accordingly.
Let’s review a detailed market environmental analysis for the translation industry.

Market Environment Analysis with micro- and macro-environments

1. Micro-Environment

a) Internal Environment:

In translation services, the internal environment creates a huge difference in how the agency functions. If the operations are efficient, it will enable a better quality of translated content.

b) Marketing Channel:

The other part of the micro-environment is the marketing channel. This constitutes the human translators, the online platform or websites run by the middlemen or customer service. Then comes the salespeople who generate leads and sell their services to the firms acquired by the marketing department.

c) Market type:

The translation industry is a service-based industry. They are not creating any product, rather create a platform in order to connect professional document translators with people who want to translate their content.

2. Macro-Environment

a) Political:

The political environment is crucial to the success of a translation firm. They cannot function effectively in an unstable political scenario. For instance, if you are translating content for the tobacco industry, you have to be careful of the fact that advertising tobacco products on radio and TV have succumbed to federal bans.

b) Economic:

The economic atmosphere can either cushion the progress of business translation services or refrain them from expansion. If a state is suffering from economic turmoil, the chances are that services-based firms would not be able to make a lot of progress.

But there are situations, where economic disruption can actually assist certain industries to excel. We can take the example of the COVID-19 era, where agencies were able to provide help to a lot of communities around the world, by translating information pertaining to COVID-19 prevention into their native language.

c) Competitive:

Since, the advent of technology and especially the internet, a lot of organizations have appeared in the market to occupy the market share. And the same is the case with translation services. They are fiercely competing against each other and trying to invest a lot of time, money, and resources to obtain an edge over each other. Competitive advantage can be in terms of rates, costs, expenses, marketing tactics, customer service, and quality-based translations.

d) Technological:

The technological factor has pushed out a lot of organizations from the competition, just because they did not upgrade their translation system with time. Companies like Nokia, Blackberry, and Kodak lost a huge portion of their market share just because they did not switch to android. Hence, it’s almost imperative for firms to inculcate technology into their systems

Translation firms have to incorporate machine translation systems into their functions. This will help them remain in the competition and also pose a competition to their fellow translation agencies. Moreover, professional document translators need to use technology to help them become more efficient in their deliveries.

e) Social and Cultural:

The 21st century has seen a lot of changes vis-a-vis socially and culturally. With dynamic circumstances, roles and responsibilities have changed as well. The traditional hierarchical structure of organizations has transformed into a more decentralized structure where departments are more interconnected than they were ever before.

Moreover, the women’s workforce has also increased exponentially in the past couple of decades. Organizations are encouraging cultural diversity in their workplaces. Thereby, translation services also need to adapt to the different cultural settings, especially when they are targeting a particular market. They need to understand the cultural preferences and the language intricacies so that the translated content makes complete sense to the audience.


Organizations need to conduct an in-depth market environmental analysis to enable the smooth functioning of their operations, regardless of the external climates. But it’s first imperative to understand the external environment. Because if you do, this will enable a long-term relationship with your clients.

Nobody knows what the future entails. Doesn’t matter if you are jeff Bezos or Warren Buffet, nobody can predict the political climate of the world. Nonetheless, the aim is not to predict, but to adapt. Hence, the translation firm should know what the internal and external environment constitutes.

The internal environment consists of the marketing channels and operations taking place within the organization. And the external consists of political, economic, competitive, technological, and social cultural factors.

These factors are unpredictable, hence, can either hinder the progress of businesses or enable them to expand more. It is the responsibility of the companies to adapt their functions accordingly.

This is a guest post.

The author: Halen John is a creative writer with a special interest in Culture and Languages. Along with being associated with the localization industry for the past 8 years, she is working as a creative writer for Chinese Translation Services, a known business translation services provider.